Reel Reviews: Life begins at 38ish

The family, played by Iris and Maude Apatow, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, star in the sort-of sequel to Knocked Up in This is 40. - Universal Pictures
The family, played by Iris and Maude Apatow, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, star in the sort-of sequel to Knocked Up in This is 40.
— image credit: Universal Pictures

Starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, This is 40 is a loose sequel to Knocked Up.

Pete and Debbie, a married couple who are both turning 40, come to terms with where they are in their lives. Debbie is in denial, she keeps rolling her odometer back, insisting she’s only 38, but then again she lies about her smoking, the success of her business and wants things the way they should be, rather than the way they are.

Pete is fine with 40, but is happy in an even more tangled web of deception than his wife: his business is faltering to the point of collapse, he’s been secretly supporting his father for years and his love life is clandestinely chemically enhanced.

Their children, Sadie (Maude Apatow) and Charlotte (Iris Apatow), are pretty ordinary sisters and probably the only sane people in the family.

We say, “It’s a typical sitcom about a failure to communicate.”

TAYLOR: This movie should be called “This is 40 if you’re neurotic and furtive.” Although that’s the goal of Judd Apatow movies it seems, to project an R rated version of Three’s Company onto the big screen. This isn’t a bad film, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of uncomfortable laughs in This is 40, just none sounded by myself. I don’t think I heard you laugh either, Mr. Howe.

HOWE: I thought This is 40 was pretty good. I got a couple of laughs out of it, but for the life of me I can’t remember one of them. It wasn’t like there were lots of them, it’s just that each of them rolled into the next and it didn’t really quench the thirst for a really good laugh.

TAYLOR: Agreed, I’ve seen funnier films that rely on base humour, but I was glad that it didn’t go too far into offensive territory. There’s a fine line between a character acting funny and acting crazy, the latter often becomes stupid or sad.

HOWE: There are a few moments dotted throughout that parents can relate to, especially if you have one becoming a teenager and one still under 10. I had that a good few years ago and could relate to this. I think Apatow got the balance just right, and using his own children works well because the chemistry between the two of them doesn’t feel fake.

TAYLOR: True, when they were being mean to each other, it made sense, they’re kids. Everyone else in this film should know better.

HOWE: I disagree, the highlight of the movie was the scene with Melissa McCarthy in the principal’s office. If you wait for the credits to roll you will see the uncut version and she just rambles on. That was the funniest part of the movie.

— Howe gives This is 40 2.5 false teeth out of 5.

— Taylor gives it 2 afternoon naps out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe areThe Morning Star's movie reviewers Their column, Reel Reviews, appears every Friday and Sunday..

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